Some people just don’t learn

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, March 11th, 2012 - 83 comments
Categories: business, class war - Tags:

The support for the workers at POAL is growing by the day. Thousands of people turned out to march yesterday and the mainstream media has woken up to just how vicious the port’s tactics are.

But it’s not just the public support that is with the wharfies and their families. They’ve got the industrial muscle too – with port workers from around the world announcing they’ll blacklist ships loaded at POAL by strike-breaking labour.

And from what I hear POAL is in serious legal trouble as well.

All that could save POAL now would be the government intervening. But this government doesn’t have spare political capital to throw away by legislatively backing a despised port board against ordinary working Kiwis. It would have done so in the first sitting week if the management had managed to run a decent PR campaign against the union (in fact my sources tell me that was the original plan cooked up between the port board and the NACT crew – demonise the port workers over the xmas break and then invoke strategic economic interests to bang through more anti-union legislation).

Instead POAL is f**ked. They’re not going to get the contractors they need (and in fact the contracting companies themselves may yet discover that getting involved in this was a poor business decision), and the contractors they do get will be sitting idle because nobody will want to risk running cargo through Auckland unless they have to. They may even find they can’t legally employ a new workforce anyway.

In fact I’m calling time on Tony Gibson. This dispute will finish him. Sure he’ll stay on as CEO in name while someone else sorts this mess out but once the deal is done and the dispute leaves the spotlight he’ll be down the road. Probably for “family reasons”.

The thing is, I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Union members and their supporters have a long history of handing these wannabe Roarks their arses. Every major company that has tried to screw its workers in the last ten or so years has had a taste. International Paper had a taste, Progressive Enterprises had a taste, Air New Zealand had quite a few. And, despite getting his law change, Peter Jackson got a taste when he attacked union members after they settled (as did Key – another reason he’ll be keeping away from this one).

And yet Tony Gibson and his dad’s army of board members thought they’d get away with this? It just goes to show the calibre of corporate leadership we have in this country.

And just as an aside – Len Brown (and to a lesser extent David Shearer): you should have realised right from the start which way this was going to go. Backing union members wasn’t the political risk you faced. It never is.

83 comments on “Some people just don’t learn”

  1. The news that should more than anything else show that POAL was engaging in bad faith bargaining is the recruitment drive it started two weeks ago, before the decision to deunionise the site was made and before MUNZ had a chance to respond or present its thoughts on the proposal.

    Good faith bargaining means keeping an open mind, not predetermining the issue before the union can respond.

    Len still has a chance to show leadership and I hope he does.  There is a meeting of Council this Thursday where the issue will be discussed and the outcome may determine how the issue is going to finish.

  2. John H 2

    Nice spin. However the battle’s over, even if a handful of unionists march through Auckland.

    Companies are run by managers and boards, not unions.

    If you don’t like that, buy a company and just see how realistic you find the union “demands”.

    IrishBill: I think you’ll find I’ve a lot more experience in business than you ever will.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1

      “The battle’s over.”

      Yes, the blacklisted ships are being unloaded by happy little serfs as we speak…

      Aren’t they?

    • Funny I thought that we did own the company.  And as a shareholder I think the Board’s performance has been appalling.

      • Indeed, Micky. And Holmes’ interview on Q+A yesterday didn’t help much.

        From my blogpost analysis on Holmes’ interview with Richard Pearson,

        Towards the end of the “interview”, Pearson again slips up, when he states,

        ” Paul, that is absolute nonsense. People talk about waiting by the phone, etc. Ships are on schedules. 90% of all the ships that come into the port are on their schedule, on their slot, within one hour of ETA. We know months ahead. We can actually plan shifts weeks and weeks ahead. It is absolute nonsense to say that, and all I could also say is talk to the people at Tauranga. They’re quite happy. Everything works well. “

        That statement is a flat-out contradiction of Pearson’s earlier assertion, at the beginning of the interview, where he makes the claim that,

        “Well, from my perspective, Paul, I came into this situation, and I’ve been 37 years in the container port business and ports all around the world. I have never seen such a waste of resource going on here. I have never seen a situation where you pay someone for 43 hours and they work 26. I’ve never seen a situation where ships wait to come in to start waiting for the start of a shift. You know, that’s like aeroplanes flying around waiting for- “

        On the one hand, Pearson claims that “I have never seen a situation where you pay someone for 43 hours and they work 26. I’ve never seen a situation where ships wait to come in to start waiting for the start of a shift” – and then goes on to contradict that claim by stating that “Ships are on schedules. 90% of all the ships that come into the port are on their schedule, on their slot, within one hour of ETA. We know months ahead. We can actually plan shifts weeks and weeks ahead“.

        POAL’s Board and CEO should be sacked. As their leaked memo demonstrated, they had a secret agenda lined up to casualise the workforce and undermine job security.

        If this is what John Key meant when he pledged his government would “raise wages”, then he’s going a funny way about it.

        • Bafacu 2.2.1.1

          What a load of rubbish.

          The ships do come in within a very short timeframe of their stated arrival time … BUT then have to wait for the “workers” to arrive at their 9 – 5 job to do the work, rather than when they arrive.

          Portsa re not a 9 – 5 environment and if people want that then the Port is not the place for them.

          No contradiction from my perspective.

    • tc 2.3

      ‘Companies are run by managers and boards, not unions.’ very true and in this case being run badly with little if any respect for its workers, without which it doesn’t have a business.

      Expecting an unrealistic ROI against the industry average and with little investment in capital or technology over the last decade or more Hides board are typical of many, not living in the real world just their own little mates club of spreadsheets and PR spin.

    • 5,000 people was a “handful of unionists”?!

      My, that’s quite a spin…

  3. Mark G 3

    Your commentary is reminiscent of Comical Ali from the 2003 Iraq War. He too was deluded about what side had won.

    IrishBill: I’ve seen a lot of disputes Mark, and I know how the real world works. Now take a month long ban for comparing me to a mass-murderer.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      Anyone who believes Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf was deluded obviously missed the little smile that would flicker at the edges of his mouth. His best performance was the one with the US tanks clearly visible behind him. “There are no American tanks…”

      Just like if you were to say “there are no blacklisted ships…” Go on, say it, then we can all have a laugh.

    • DavidC 3.2

      Great way to shut down the debat there IrishBill.

      [Great way to get yourself a ban too. MarkG was not debating, and only got a month because IB got to him before I did…RL]

    • insider 3.3

      Comical Ali wasn’t a mass murderer, he was the front man at media conferences. His nickname was a pun on chemical Ali, who was indeed a mass murderer

      • mac1 3.3.1

        insider, you raise an interesting question. At what point do people become mass murderers? Is it only the people who actually pull the trigger or is it those who profit from, condone or even ignore the actions of the regime which they support?

        • insider 3.3.1.1

          Yes it is an interesting philosophical debate. But in Comical’s case, from memory he was captured and released without charge as having no real involvemtn in the Saddam regime and its crimes.

    • SHG 3.4

      Say what, IrishBill? The guy criticised your COMMENTARY, not your person. You can tell by the way he says “your commentary”.

    • Jagg 3.5

      [You asked for it…Banned permanently. RL]

  4. Jester 4

    Whilst I admire your conviction Bill, i should point out that hanging your hat on international support is limp at best.

    Cue Australian Trade Practices Act, UK Employment Act 1990 and the US Wagner Act. All similar legislation that sent Tauranga and Lyttletons secondary strikers back to work.

    Reading body language and comments from Q&A this morning Mr Parsloe did not appear to be in the box seat at all and his plea for the POAL to return to the table and his request for someone to intervene seemed desperate at best.

    Whilst I agree that in the past the unions were dogged scrappers, however legislation, falling union numbers and the general publics interpretation on union greed has emasculated them.

    Mr Parsloe gave a very good impression of a punch drunk boxer…..still upright but the lights are out and the last fight over.

    • MrV 4.1

      Not to say how many unemployed Americans would love a port job right now.

    • IrishBill 4.2

      I think you’ll find you’re wrong. The legislation you quote tends only to have use when secondary industrial action is expressly notified.

      I expect the wharfies to be back employed as employees by the end of the month. I’m not often wrong in these matters.

      • Jester 4.2.1

        True, but secondary action that is not expressly notified does tend to leave the worker rather exposed to action of the employer which I’m not to sure the internationals will risk for pissant little ole NZ. Solidarity is one thing, long term solidarity is another.

        MUA seem to have there own shitfight happening in their own backyard with Patrick to rock the boat too much. Perhaps you need to start proposing monkey wrenching within the transport unions. Probably have more success there 🙂

        • IrishBill 4.2.1.1

          I’m not to [sic] sure the internationals will risk for pissant little ole[sic] NZ

          That’s not been my experience at all.

          • Jester 4.2.1.1.1

            Maybe not so 10 years ago, but times are a changing Bill, times are a changing.

            • Muzza 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually you’re right , times are changing and it’s heading back in time. The further back you look, the more clearly you can see the future. And so the times are changing alright, with some big shocks for the banker run capitalist system.

            • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Indeed they are, Jester… but not quite as you feel.

              In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a resurgence in Union activity; new right dogma is being challenged; and people are seeking alternatives. Judging by the hysteria shown by some on the Right, they are nervous – and so they should be.

              The new meme is that crony capitalism is not working and will never work – it demands too much from the majority. People want more; they want job security and a decent wage.

              Attacking the port workers was a big mistake. Even if they were earning $91k (which is BS, going by POAL’s own factsheet), so what?

              Dear Leader pledged to raise wages in 2008 and last year – and here we have a company trying to drive down wages with casualisation. People see that and wonder, “am I next”?

              And when the middle class baby boomers start to get anxious – that’s when governments lose.

  5. Bruce 5

    Go the unions!
    It surely can’t be that easy to dump an entire workforce lawfully.

  6. Darien Fenton 6

    Time to lay off David Shearer. He marched with the workers yesterday and spoke on behalf of Labour to show our support He’s visited the picket line and kept in regular contact. He was up at the Maritime Bar on Friday night to talk to the workers again. There were 15 Labour MPs there yesterday, our president, vice president, Maori Council and hundreds, if not thousands of other Labour Party members. He’s the only party leader (apart from Hone I think) who has actually been to the picket line.

    • tsmithfield 6.1

      “Time to lay off David Shearer.”

      Darien, if he is doing all these wonderful things, then why do you want to lay him off? 🙂

      • Darien Fenton 6.1.1

        @tsmithfield : Very funny. If it weren’t so serious for 300 workers and their families at the ports, the 1000 off workers who are locked out by the Talleys family and the 1500 rest home workers who are having to strike because of our pitiful minimum wage.

        • Pete George 6.1.1.1

          Why do you think so much attention is given to the port workers compared to the aged-care workers? Compared to port workers aged-care workers are paid pitifully.

          Just because shipping can be disrupted much more easily?

          • shreddakj 6.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry, once we win the battle at the ports, we’ll fight just as hard for rest home workers.

            • DavidC 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Don’t worry, once we win the battle at the ports, we’ll fight just as hard for rest home workers.”
              Utter bullshit.
              Unions have allways gone for soft targets, the ones that hurt the public or the ecconomy.
              Auckland warfies achieve better than $50 a hour for unskilled work ($90K at 28 hours a week) and aged care gets $14?

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                *wharfies.

              • RedLogix

                Unions have allways gone for soft targets, the ones that hurt the public or the ecconomy.

                Yes… it’s called ‘market power’. Have a problem with that?

                • tsmithfield

                  I am surprised Labour are so politically naive on this one. It would be much more politically acceptable for them to be standing up for the likes of the rest home workers who are paid very lowly for the value of the work they perform. This would seem very much aligned with Labour’s core message.

                  But because Labour has decided to support the wharfies, it appears that Labour is standing up for workers that many would probably view as rich pricks in drag. This is not really consistent with their positioning as the guardians of the vulnerable.

                  • RedLogix

                    Spare me ts. The problem for some workers is that they are not really in a legal or ethical position to strike….which hugely reduces their negotiating power.

                    If Labour was seen standing up for rest home workers…encouraging them to strike… can you imagine the howls of outrage?

                    • There are other ways to do it. Striking should be a last resort tactic, as it often harms the workers more than helps them (while union officials and politicians keep drawing full salaries).

                      If Labour wanted to be credible about equality then they should be putting much more effort into aged-care workers. Not by talking them into striking, that would be stupid.

                      They should be campaigning much more strongly in parliament for better funding of the elderly sector wages.

                      Much more useful than wasting so much time and resource having an extended hissy fit about some part sales of a few assets that probably aren’t going to have a major impact in the whole scheme of things.

                    • KJT

                      PG. 14 Billion deficit. 
                       
                      14 billion lost dividends and earnings from the last round of asset sales. Bit of a coincidence.
                       
                       
                      Workers ARE reluctant to strike, because it costs them a lot.
                       
                      The costs of not striking have to be huge.

                      Do you realise you have just made a case for sympathy strikes to be legal.
                      The rest of the Union movement could then use their market power to support rest home workers.
                       
                      Where are your screams about Mearsk using their market power, and the stupidity of our fake port competition, to reduce their costs.

                      Parsloes salary is a 9th of Gibson’s. Hardly creaming it.

                    • Striking IS a last resort, for the very reason that it can be a high-risk strategy. The fact that so many unions have to strike indicates something about the culture of employment in general and in our country specifically- namely, that employers don’t always give people a fair go when employees negotiate in good faith. I’m sure employees can demand too much as well, but we don’t really have a history of that in New Zealand- this isn’t France, with its ridiculously high amount of leave, or anything. 🙂

                    • I’m sure employees can demand too much as well, but we don’t really have a history of that in New Zealand

                      Are you quite young Matthew? I’ve lived through times of ridiculous union demands, some of them frequent, like cooks and stewards (interisaland ferries), freezing workers and wharfies. Earlier fighting for reasonable work conditions was justified, it later became farcical and disruptive. (Employers weren’t always blameless either).

                      Have you wondered why wharfies can earn far more than aged care workers, more even than nurses and teachers?

                  • Jenny

                    If you hadn’t noticed the Maritime Union members were on there on the rest home workers picket, as they were on the Dairy workers and all the other workers over the years who have been in trouble with their employers, that is how solidarity works.

                    It is why they had so many turn up to support them on Saturday.

              • muzza

                Better than $50 per hour, do share where you for that little piece of detail from DC…

              • shreddakj

                Wow, the right wing trolls keep making the pay even bigger! Has anyone told the wharfies what they’re missing out on?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.1.1.2

            Attention by whom, Pete?

    • Muzza 6.2

      Hey Darien are you a member of Parliamentarians for Global Action, how about Shearer ?

    • Jimmie 6.3

      So to stir the pot a little Ms Fenton are you saying that the march was made up of Labour MP’s, unionists, & Labour Party Hacks? I thought the spin here was that it was a sign of growing public support for the ex wharfies not a bunch of patisan activists trying to make this a national issue.

      Can’t have it both ways.

      • Jenny 6.3.1

        Eh Jimmy, the majority of the marchers I took to be non-union, and with many young people. Make of that what you will.

    • newsense 6.4

      He’s got our qualified support Darien. He’s still got to earn our loyalty.

      I think it is very very healthy that we expect high standards from our Labour leaders, and I think in fact the Clark government was at its best when it was strongly critiqued from an intellectually vibrant left. It did that government no harm at all.

  7. The world is 5-6 years passed peak oil/energy, from now on we will all have less next year than we had this year, that is what a reducing amount of energy equals, it also means less tax take, as the wankers in Wellington are finding out, less jobs, less fright coming into NZ ports, therefore less wharfies, less truckies and less social justice.
    Welcome to my nightmare
    Now the rubber is hitting The Road ) http://www.themodernword.com/reviews/mccarthy_road.html
    But all is not lost we got Kiwi Saver

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Are you sure that oil supply next year is going to be lower than this year?

      I’m not so sure. I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

      • Muzza 7.1.1

        If the supply of oil is used as a weapon , why not the stats around reserves etc! What possible reason would any oil company or production state have for being forthcoming about the figures. Just speculating!

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Are you sure that oil supply next year is going to be lower than this year?

        Yes it will be. Especially if you measure it in a way which makes sense e.g. qty of oil available for trade on world markets per capita per dollar of cost.

        • Jenny 7.1.2.1

          Don’t worry CV the oil industry will keep drilling and fracking and spilling and mining tar sands, and coal until every possible hydrocarbon resource has been liberated to find it’s way into the atmosphere.

          Welcome to my nightmare.

      • Robert Atack 7.1.3

        Lanth

        I don’t think you have the software in your neck top to be able to sit through this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg 34 minute skit, let alone the ability to understand it, but maybe someone else on this blog will, they can explain it all to you.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.3.1

          As usual Robert you mistake my needling of you for a lack of understanding of peak oil.

          I understand and appreciate peak oil quite well, and have for some years.

          I specifically asked if you think *next year’s* production will be less than *this year’s*. I was very specific and deliberate in my question, but as usual this subtlety has whistled past you.

          • grumpy 7.1.3.1.1

            You make a good point, Element 57.

            I have seen forecasts of an increase in oil production for next year………………..

          • Robert Atack 7.1.3.1.2

            And clearly you didn’t watch the You Tube skit. showing that taking anything you say is a fucking waste of my time, it will not happen again, I just hope you have children

            • Lanthanide 7.1.3.1.2.1

              Hey Robert, I’ve been reading TheOilDrum since 2007 and DoTheMath since it started last year.

              I AM FULLY AWARE OF PEAK OIL AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT.

              Now are you going to answer my question, or not? Are you sure that oil production in 2013 is going to be lower than in 2012?

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.3.1.2.2

              Mr. Asshat, you just don’t get it do you? You are mistaking contempt for your arrogance and rudeness as a commentary on peak oil. It isn’t: it’s just contempt for your arrogance and rudeness.

    • johnm 7.2

      Hi Robert When is AFewKnowTheTruth returning to make comments here? Sort of miss his wake up calls.

      • Jenny 7.2.1

        plus 1

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.2.2

        Oh yes, lol.

        “Now that Peak Oil is starting to bite a 4% contraction of the economy looks about right for 2012”

        So insightful, so full of shiny truthiness.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.2.1

          Indeed. The economic armageddon seems to creep back and permanently stay just over the horizon as time goes on. I’m now seriously wondering if we’re actually going to see any significant impacts before 2014-2015.

    • Hammer 7.3

      Peak oil – a 50 year old myth. Shale Gas and Shale oil is flowing in many parts of the world; Sth Africa just announced a 400 year supply, USA talks of hundreds of years supply too.
      Poland has huge supplies;
      USA gas prices have halved in last 5 years.

      The only worried ones are the Arabs.

      • Robert Atack 7.3.1

        I think it is about 4 buck a gallon at the moment ……. when was it $8?
        Oh and it is a 56 year ‘myth’ ….

        • Hammer 7.3.1.1

          Thanks for the link – an interesting viewing.

          Re the gas halving in price in the USA – I should have been more specific – I was talking of the Shale Gas [CNG/LPG] which is falling in price as it takes over from coal for the generation of electricity.

  8. Darien Fenton 8

    @Muzza : yes I am. Not sure about David S. Will check.

    • muzza 8.1

      Shame they changed the name really – Parliamentarians for Global Order seemed much more honest to me. The name change kind of screemed that someone was not all that pleased with the marketing department!

      Differing lines of thought around what the organisation exists for, and the website is laughable, without even having the NZ section functioning, and its been a work in progress for quite some time….

      Do any of the PfGO in NZ write or blog about their involement. Are you able to point to yours or others experiences from it?

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    The FOL’s (NZ Federation of Labour) late Jim Knox used to regulary be spontaneously applauded when he walked into workers meetings. While even a few union officials mocked Jim as did TV shitheads McPhail & Gadsby, per his mangled vocabulary, along predictably with Pig Muldoon, his attitude was genuine, a ’51 vet. and many workers instinctively knew that.

    Jim used to say in a platitudinous way at first hearing, but probably more from the boredom of repetition, stuff like “unite all who can be united, working men and women lets go forward together with the advice and support of the Federation of Labour”. It is called positive leadership and that is what we need now.

    That is the style workers enjoy and require. Aotearoa has changed incredibly since the 80s but all you coffee swilling Standard freelancers and even a few right wingers probably yearn for it deep down, change happens on the streets like it or not, heh.

    The unionists are not the dinosaurs it is the POAL.

  10. Bryan 10

    I object to POAL chair in the daily full page adds at 25K a time telling me that there was no other way for the port company but to repudiate the maritime union collective. POAL is owned by us ratepayers and has no mandate for acting in bad faith. Stop the directors fees and casualise the CEO – hell yes!!!

  11. Jenny 11

    it is imperitave that the two parties come together and continue talking.

    The Honourable Sua William Sio

    “It’s Never Too Late to Talk Employment”

    The actions, of Sua William Sio and the other Labour MPs including Labour leader David Shearer who yesterday stood with the many thousands of grass roots New Zealanders and dozens of overseas supporters, has moved the Labour mayor of Auckland, Len Brown to reconsider his previous hands off approach to the Ports of Auckland dispute.

    Today on current affairs programme Q+A the Mayor said he wanted to step in to the dispute between the parties to find a solution.

    MUNZ press release 11/03/12

    The leader of the Maritime Union, Gary Parsloe has warmly greeted the Mayor’s offer to step into the dispute to find a solution. And has offered to meet at any time on any day.

    So far, there has been no reply from the management of the Ports of Auckland to the Mayor’s offer to meet to find a solution.

    Not being interested in this meeting is just one more act of bad faith by the Ports of Auckland management.

    The Ports management do not want to settle and are determined to sack their workforce and replace them with contractors.

    PoAL refuse to negotiate in good faith even though the law requires them too.

    The inescapable conclusion is that the Ports management do not want to come together to continue talks to resolve this dispute.

    If PoAL continue to ignore the call to attend the talks called by the Mayor, I think that the Ports of Auckland management should be injuncted to attend the Mayor’s offer of talks, on pain of serious legal penalties targeting the individuals responsible.

    I am sure that in light of the Mayor’s offer to mediate, any judge being aware of the law requiring parties involved in a industrial dispute to negotiate in good faith, would have no choice but to grant such an injunction.

    On the March

    Rallying the crowd

    From facebook

    We have your back

  12. infused 12

    [Deleted …not useful]

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    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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